A New Expectant Dad’s Fears. Will I be ready?
In just three months I will be a first time father. That’s a difficult concept for me to grasp let alone even comprehend. Me, a dad. The very thought both scares and excites me.
It’s something I felt I had always wanted (yes, even us men have that desire) but as my 30s skated by I had all but given up once I hit 40 (I’m now 44). While I’d like to think I may be somewhat wiser and mature, I don’t know that I’ll ever be truly ready for what’s to come.
How can I be? I have my own insecurities and fears as a man, but that’s nothing compared to that of becoming a first time dad.
* Where do I even begin?
* Who do I turn to or seek advice from?
* What the hell do I do when I can’t cope?
Honestly, I have absolutely no bloody idea. All I know is that I don’t know.
Neither do those already experiencing the trials and tribulations of fatherhood — they’re just fumbling and figuring it out as they go. Nor to my own father, a man I respect but who for one reason or another was found a little wanting during my own childhood.
And forget so called “advice” books. They do nothing but merely pander to the fact they think all men are completely hopeless and mother knows best. Or they offer impractical and just plain pointless theories that make you feel like an imbecile for having just read it.
In my heart, I feel like I’ll just deal with each and everything as it comes. In my head, I know I am grossly underprepared, unqualified, and most of all, unwilling to take on “expert” advice, tips, and feedback from those who are all too keen to spout it thinking one size fits all. It doesn’t.
Just because someone offers guidance does not make them an expert nor does it fit what I hope to achieve and implement as a new dad. They seem to gloss over the very real struggles and difficulties, saying everything will be rosy if you follow their way. Screw that shit!
What works for one, does not work for many. As far as I am concerned, it’s all trial and error — like life.
“Life changes when you have a child, when you have your own family. You become more careful about what you do.” ~ Daredevil, Evel Knievel.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own fears and concerns for what lies ahead. I’d be a hypocrite if I thought everything was going to turn out brilliantly. Maybe it will but I know I will have many demons, issues, and shit I just don’t know. Starting with the fact, I haven’t got one single clue for what to expect let alone how to handle it.
I’m scared that I’ll fuck up their life, like I have my own at times. Shit, I’m still learning how to adult. Sometimes I think I may make a good fist of it, at other times I will make a complete hash of it. I’m just like everybody else, just trying to figure it out best as I can.
But now I’ve got a young one in the mix, trying to figure it out won’t cut it.
I’m worried that I’m about halfway through my life and achieved very little or have very little to show for it. Sure, I’ve travelled the world and been very fortunate to have some truly incredible, memorable experiences over the course of those journeys, and indeed in life. But just because I managed to survive travelling some 50+ countries, hardly feels like it counts for much.
Truth be told, I stumbled my way through life, making plenty of mistakes, never knowing what it is I was truly good at it or wanted to do. Now with a little one on the way, I feel I am running out of time to get what it is I want to do done. I feel pressed for time to achieve anything of note.
Searching, Aiming For More Than I Am
I’ve been desperately searching and aiming to make a better life for myself in some small way. I wrote a book back in November. I’ve been aiming to build an online business to not only create passive income but automate my life and attain financial freedom, something I’ve not had for several years traipsing the globe or using my existing skills and freelancing. That has its perks, I’m not answerable to anyone but myself. No clock to punch into or some wanker of a boss looking over my shoulder.
But it’s just me. I was responsible for just me. Now all of a sudden I’ll be responsible for a tiny little being. A small entity who needs me in more ways than one. That’s a huge responsibility to place on anyone’s shoulders. It comes with a sense of duty. One I have no idea if I will ever be ready for but have to confront and deal with as best I can.
I cannot shirk my duties. I cannot run away. I cannot reset the past. I can only embrace the present and this is what I now have to deal with.
I will do my best. I will do things my own father didn’t. I will just be there and figure it out as I go… as you grow. It’s all I can do.
I’ll make mistakes, I’ll trip and stumble but what I do know is that I be there, even if I can’t be there for myself.
I’m still getting used to the idea of being called dad or daddy or dadda. Even six months in that’s still making me chuckle nervously. It hides the fears, concerns, nervousness, apprehension, all of it!
I feel lost at sea. The world is a fearful place, much more than it was when I was little. Things have changed, not all of it good. I have no idea what will happen as you grow up.
I want to offer you the world, show you all the good but I also can’t turn away from all that is bad. That’d be just plain irresponsible and reckless. You have to see it all. You have to form your own opinions and make up your own mind. Decide for yourself.
I can’t always guarantee you’ll be safe. I can’t always guarantee I will know what to do. I can’t guarantee anything other than unconditional love. While I wish that was enough, I also know that this is not some ideological paradise we’re living in. While I am a free thinking, liberal minded soul, I’m no dreamer. I’m a realist, too.
Maybe that’s what scares me. Knowing that I want you to be filled with hope, that I am able to hand you a better, safer, cleaner world but how can I when I see the world so differently from when I was growing up. The more I know, the less I wish I did.
There are times I wish I could check out of this planet and find a new, better one to live. But I can only fictionalise and write about that. For now, we’re all on this planet together, for better or worse, good or bad, I can only do what I can only do.
If that’s all I can do and you survive, grow up, and become better for having spent time with me, then maybe that is enough.
I hope to steer you in a good direction but if you’ll be anything like me (like most of us), you’ll veer off course from time to time. You’ll trip, you’ll falter but you’ll pick yourself up, you’ll dust yourself off, and you’ll be better for the experience.
Whatever happens, I will be there for you. That’s all I can hope to do.
Who knows, maybe it will be you who teaches me how to be a better person as a first time father. Make me see the world in a new way. Open me up to a different perspective, one I could have never ever hoped to imagine to see, experience, feel, if not for you.
Perhaps being fearful is nothing more than being unsure about the future, mine as well as yours. Maybe we’ll work it out together and if not, then let’s have fun trying. At the very least, we’ll have some good stories and hopefully some great memories.
Perhaps that’s what it’s all about in the end.
Just know I will have your best interests at heart, for even though you are not born yet, I already know I love you and that won’t fade, just merely grow as you do, as I do.